August 20, 2019 / 5:29 PM / 4 months ago

Slovenian bank NLB and KBC Insurance consider sale of NLB Vita

LJUBLJANA, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) and Belgian insurer KBC Insurance NV are considering a sale of their life insurance venture NLB Vita, Slovenia’s largest bank said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement marks the first time the two companies have publicly said they plan to sell the insurance business.

The European Commission in 2018 made the sale of NLB Vita a condition for delaying state-backed NLB’s partial privatisation. But the privatisation was completed in June this year, when the Slovenian government sold another 10% of the bank after selling 65% last year.

Slovenia had originally agreed to sell 75% of NLB by the end of 2018 in exchange for the Commission’s approval of state aid to the bank in 2013.

It was not clear whether NLB would have to sell NLB Vita once the privatisation process was completed.

The European Commission told Reuters on Tuesday that it still expected NLB to sell its insurance business as the commitment to sell NLB Vita “remained in place”.

NLB and KBC had equal ownership of NLB Vita and believe NLB Vita is “an interesting investment”, NLB said.

According to local media, NLB Vita could be sold for a total of 40 to 60 million euros ($44.38 to $66.57 million).

NLB also said it would keep selling NLB Vita’s products even if the business is sold.

$1 = 0.9013 euros Reporting By Marja Novak. Editing by Jane Merriman

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